Because excessive drinking and alcohol dependence are becoming increasingly “normalized,” we see less and see of the numerous problems associated with this abuse. One demographic that is really falling under this dangerous umbrella is mothers (and woman in general) who report using alcohol more and more to release some of the stress and tension after a long day of work or childcare.
The Many Dangers of Excessive Drinking on a Daily Basis
The relationship between women, particularly mothers, and alcohol has been mostly glossed over. Like reading a book or taking a hot bath, it’s been redefined as a crucial part of her schedule, a reward for making it through to the other side. Not only that, but it also works to take some of the edge off, to act as a “release valve” for the pressure that has likely built up gradually throughout a busy day. It’s come to serve as the light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak, with its dangers and risks of alcohol dependence being progressively swept under the rug.
Unfortunately, those dangers and risks are still there, and in this situation, they affect more than just one person. For example, a mother who indulges in one too many may be therefore incapable of caring safely for their children, perhaps even deciding that they’re fine to drive when that is far from the truth.
Part of the current problem is that, in most scenarios, people don’t have a solid understanding of the facts of addiction and alcohol dependence. “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 90 percent of people who drink excessively are not alcohol dependent.” That is, the majority of people who have too much to drink, who likely have regularly-unhealthy, alcohol-related behaviors, don’t perceive their habits as problematic. They either don’t think much of it or have labeled the behaviors within their own minds as coping, rewarding, just part of the daily schedule. It’s this kind of thinking that allows excessive drinking to escalate and to become full-blown alcohol dependency or even cause huge problems and harm before it reaches that point.
Research shows that the gap between men and women’s drinking habits is getting closer and closer, meaning, as men are drinking less frequently, women are drinking more frequently. It isn’t exactly fair to compare the genders, though, considering that each processes alcohol differently and therefore has different tolerance and health risks. Women who are engaged in excessive drinking have, on average, less drinks than men whose habits are also considered excessive. Women also are”more vulnerable to consequences of heavy drinking, including heart disease, liver inflammation and cirrhosis, brain damage, and other types of cancer” including breast cancer.
Luckily, it only takes an increased awareness of the rise of excessive drinking among women and mothers in particular to begin to make changes. Those who aren’t dependent can work to set measured goals and enlist the help of others to help stick to them. They can also swap out a glass of wine (or two, or three) a night with something else that rewards them without putting anyone at risk. Those who may have an alcohol use disorder have a number of options with varying levels of intensities in order to best suit their lives and needs.
Working toward recovery from alcohol dependence or similarly-dangerous excessive drinking can be easier said than done, like most things seem to be. Alcohol in intensity over a period of time “can damage brain function… making it more difficult for someone to control their drinking once they start.” In that case, the person may be unwilling or unable to seek out help, which is where family and friends come in to help guide the individual toward real care. If it’s a mother who has reached questionable levels of use, a reminder of the effects that their relationship with alcohol has had or could have on their family may help.
Not one solution works for everyone, but a better informed individual has the best shot toward recovery. If you are struggling with excessive drinking, particularly if you have been using it in the ways described above, or with alcohol dependence, get in touch with The Bergand Group. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction recovery center, and offers support for those struggling with addiction and mental health issues.
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About The Bergand Group:
At The Bergand Group in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehab and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]